The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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June 20, 2018

Only connect: Anthony Trollope and Angela Thirkell

... 'Henry, what is the number of people out of work at Hogglestock? Mr. Winter is interested in unemployment.'
      'About three hundred, I'm afraid, since the boiler works closed down,' said Mr. Keith.
      'There!' said Mrs. Keith.
      'They are doing all they can for them in Barchester,' said Mr. Keith. 'The Dean's grandfather used to be a curate at Hogglestock when it was a very poor agricultural community, and Crawley has always felt a special interest in it. What touched him very much as that some of the Easter flowers in the cathedral were offered by the men there, who had grown them in their enforced leisure. The committee on which the Dean and I serve had provided garden tools and seeds.'
      'They asked for bread and you gave them stones,' said Philip sternly.
      'Not stones, seeds,' said Mrs. Keith. 'I wonder, Mr. Winter, if you are related to my Uncle Andrew. He was the youngest of my grandfather's second family. My father, who was the youngest of the third family, was very fond of him. ...' 

I've collected at least one (ahem) edition of all of Angela's Thirkell's Barsetshire novels, and a year or two ago, I decided that I wanted to finally finish reading the rest of them {in order, of course}. Soon after that, when I was trying to figure out where I had left off {about half way through, I think}, I decided it would be more fun to just start over. I haven't gotten very far (just High Rising and Wild Strawberries), but this was a good week to treat myself to Summer Half and hopefully keep going on from there.

And speaking of treats, now that we've read the #6barsets, I remember the Dean's grandfather, the Rev. Josiah Crawley, the miserable curate who was falsely accused of stealing a check. It will be fun to find more Trollopian allusions and place names and ancestors ...


JoAnn said...

I need to get back to Thirkell, too. High Rising and Christmas at High Rising are the only two I've read, but there is a copy of Wild Strawberries on my shelf thanks to Lisa. Not much reading or blogging here the past month, but it's time again...

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I LOVE Summer Half. It is such a happy, fun, summer-y book and, of course, introduces Lydia, my very favourite Thirkell creation. A very nice treat, indeed.

Audrey said...

I agree! I'm trying to remember who Lydia marries...don't tell me, I'm not there yet! ... but I know who I hope it will be. :)

Brona said...

I've just finished Highbridge Rectory and I'm now in love with Thirkell too - what a gem.
One day I will get to my Trollopes as well to round out the experience.

Karen K. said...

I own at least half the Thirkells (mostly unread) as well. I've just started Pomfret Towers and I think it will be a nice change from my current Big Read which is Testament of Youth. And I know that they're connected to the Trollope Barset novels but I usually miss all the allusions because I'm so caught up in Thirkell's characters I don't notice.

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